Zdeno Chara’s Absence Downplayed by Bruins After Giving Up High Volume of Shots Against Kings

Tuukka Rask had a much better view than usual on Tuesday.

The Boston Bruins goaltender didn't have a certain 6-foot-9, 225-pound defenseman in front of him, and although goalies typically like a clear view, the absence of Zdeno Chara wasn't one Rask welcomed.

The Los Angeles Kings were stuffed on all 41 of their shots against Rask, but it was the sheer volume of shots that seemed to bother Bruins coach Claude Julien in the postgame news conference. Few coaches likes to see their goalies have to do so much to preserve a victory, even if they are as impressive as Rask was in the 3-0 win.

"We talked about certain guys having to pick up the slack" with Chara out with a lower body injury, Julien said. "Overall, I thought we played well. I think our team as a whole probably wasn't as happy with the space that we gave them to skate through the neutral zone and the time that they got to make plays. I thought we were a little bit lazy in that regard."

It was the second straight game in which Julien thought Boston put a high amount of pressure on its goalie. The Blue Jackets put 36 shots on goal Saturday against Tim Thomas, while the Bruins had 29. The Bruins had 22 on Tuesday.

Neither the coach nor the goalie completely attributed the defensive shortcomings to one player's absence, though.

"Part of that is Z missing, but also I think we just need to tighten up," Rask said. "We weren't that bad. We didn't give too many second chances, and lots of shots came from the outside, so it's just one of those games where you get a lot of shots against. I don't think it was too much because Z was missing, though."

Some of the shot disparity may be eliminated Wednesday night, if Chara returns. If he does not, the Bruins believe there are other ways to address the trend.

"We need to be a little bit better closing, so that's certainly something we're going to clear up by [Wednesday] night," Julien said.

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